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Sigonella CDC Earns High Marks in NAEYC Accreditation

27 October 2022


The Sigonella Child Development Center (CDC) received accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the culmination of a rigorous process that ensures that child care facilities meet stringent standards.
The Sigonella Child Development Center (CDC) received accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the culmination of a rigorous process that ensures that child care facilities meet stringent standards.

“It’s definitely a relief to see everyone’s hard work pay off,” said Adam D’Amico, the Sigonella Child and Youth Programs (CYP) director. “Going through NAEYC helps to show that we’re not just a daycare; we provide quality programming and support the social, emotional, and physical development of the children.”

In order to earn accreditation, staff at the CDC spent months compiling thorough portfolios to demonstrate that they met or exceeded standards in ten areas: relationships; curriculum; teaching; assessment of child progress; staff competencies, preparation, and support; families; community relationships; physical environment; and leadership and management.

“Only 3 or 4 of our staff had ever gone through the NAEYC accreditation process,” said D’Amico. “It was a nice opportunity for all of the staff to work together, whether through creating the portfolios or checking each other’s classrooms. Everyone banded together to make sure everyone felt ready.”

In addition to the portfolios, an inspector visited the CDC in June to observe multiple classrooms.

“I wasn’t too worried because I knew we were doing everything we should be doing and our staff are really great, but it was a little bit like having stage fright,” said Marcy Burmeister, the lead teacher for the pre-toddlers room. “You’re doing the same job you always do, but having someone watch you intently can make you nervous.”

According to Desiree Goss, the CYP assistant director, that nervousness didn’t show. “The inspector commented on how calm and well prepared the staff were. They’ve seen many people get so nervous that they mess up, but all of our staff were perfect.”

Overall, thanks to their hard work, the Sigonella CDC earned a 98% pass rate.

“We had many late nights and Saturday, because you can’t work on it during the day with the kids around, especially when we were at 60% staffing,” said D’Amico. “We had a lot of support from our chain of command to get overtime to make it happen.”

This is the first time the Sigonella CDC has been through the process since the COVID-19 pandemic caused changes throughout the base and in childcare programs around the world.

“We had to get very creative to meet some of the standards,” said Goss. “Families and relationships are very important, so we had to purposely plan ways for parents to come in and participate while still meeting COVID restrictions. NAEYC also wants to see that kids are going on field trips in their community, but we couldn’t take the kids anywhere, so we had the fire department come visit instead.”

While earning this accreditation is an achievement, the staff at the Sigonella CDC aren’t going to rest on their laurels.

“For the most part, we get these great reviews because we’re already doing what we should be doing, but it never hurts to look for ways we can improve,” said Burmeister. “The accreditation is a testimony to all the staff members here who are able to be flexible and constantly trying new things every single day.”

She added, “Even now, we’re reviewing what NAEYC said about us and seeing what ways we can improve for the next time.”

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